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April 7, 2021
It’s been a good news month for Android developers. Not only did we get the second Android 12 developer preview, we also got a substantial reduction in Play Store fees. This change will affect developers of all sizes, putting more money in their pockets with no changes necessary. And thanks to expanded sub-dollar pricing across 20 markets, more people are going to be able to enjoy those apps, too! For more details and to find out what else happened, keep reading.
News and Features from Android Authority

Android 12 developer preview for developers — Updated for Preview 2 — The second iteration of the Android 12 Developer Preview brings a few interesting new features. Included are easier blur effects and color filters for sprucing up UIs, improvements to picture-in-picture mode, and more accurate bandwidth estimation. It’s still a slow trickle of fairly minor changes at the moment, but they do add up!

Android 12 preview
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Android 12 Developer Preview 2 available: here’s what’s new — Our user-centric overview of the changes in Android 12 Developer Preview 2.

Updates galore — There were no new tutorials on Android Authority this month, but we did get around to updating a bunch of the classics. Check out our beginner’s guide to Android game development, our introduction to Java, or our guide to app development for those with no programming experience.

News and Features from the Android Developers Blog

Android 12 Developer Preview 2 — This is the official blog post detailing changes added to the second Android 12 Developer Preview.

Boosting developer success on Google Play — In a bit of great news for developers, Google is reducing the commission it takes on digital goods and services. From now on, the charge will be 15% for the first million dollars taken. That will also affect larger companies; so even if you are earning $10 million a year from apps (lucky you), you’ll still enjoy the subsidy on that first 10%. That will affect 99% of developers selling digital goods and services. As the commission was previously 30% on all purchases, this will effectively halve fees for many developers. This will translate to a total 50% reduction in Play Store fees. Thanks, Google!

Google Play Store new fees

Sub-dollar pricing expansion in 20 markets — In another piece of potentially profitable news, Google has expanded the option for sub-dollar app prices across 20 markets, including India and Brazil. Apps on offer in these regions can now be sold for amounts equivalent to 10-30 cents. These new lower limits mean you can market apps to a wider audience. That’s good news for users and developers, alike!

Google Play Console powers better strategic decisions with new engagement metrics and unique benchmarks — Google has unleashed a slew of new metrics for the Google Play Console. Users can now see comparative benchmarks to monitor engagement and monetization trends against 250 peer sets. There are 15 new normalized metrics in total, and more changes besides.

High-Performance Game Audio with Oboe — The Oboe C++ audio library has been added to the Android Game SDK. Oboe offers high-performance, low-latency audio across Android devices. The article links to documentation, code samples, and API references.

Creating custom Tiles on Wear OS by Google with the Jetpack Tiles library — Tiles were introduced to Android Wear back in 2019. With the new Jetpack Tiles Library, developers can create their own custom Tiles for the platform. These will be launching for users in Spring, alongside a broader platform update.

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